Friday, September 5, 2008

Becoming a biped and other horrors

I'm working on a theory. Call it a family-systems theory. Not quite sure where it's going yet, but here's the premise: the kids are on a sort of "give me the most attention" rotation. I don't know if they've had clandestine meetings to plan their schedule, or if it's more organic than that. Maybe their individual needs for parental attention somehow internally adjust to the needs of the larger family group. I'm not sure about this yet. Something's definitely up.

But a couple of weeks ago, Jensen was the headline kid. Pinkeye, starting football, starting school. Then last week, it was all-Evan, all the time: getting lost, birthday, preschool. Now? Yep, it's Caleb. He's running me ragged.

At the beginning of the week, I kind of thought he was getting another ear infection. He wanted to be carried all the time, was up every three hours, was cranky.... He needed me constantly. We kind of watched. Turns out he was getting a nasty cold. I think he got it from sucking on the handles of shopping carts. (I'm not a germophobe, but that's just disgusting.) Anyway, he is a snotty yucky mess and can't breathe through his nose.
Oh. And teeth. He also chose this week to get two more teeth. I swear he must have 53 of them by now. Jeff and I have the bite marks to prove it. Add the drool to the snot and he's just lovely. Between the cold and the teeth, we're keeping the makers of infant pain relievers in business.

And. He's also decided to go vertical this week. He's pulling up on everything he sees. And has quickly moved into that stage where I can't turn my back on him for a single second, or he's trying to self-inflict a closed cranial trauma. He has three bruises on his little noggin right now. He pulls up, and is stable for quite a while... but pretty soon the weight of that enormous baby head gives in to gravity and he cracks his forehead on something and he cries for a few minutes. Then I put him down and he immediately starts the process again. Fortunately he's not trying to walk yet, but he's definitely intrigued by the process.

He's exhausting me. I would pay him cold, hard cash to take a long nap. But between the teeth and the cold and the excitement of standing up, he's not sleeping well. He drifts off for half an hour or so, and one of those three things wakes him up. I would love nothing more than an hour of not having a baby hollering at me.

Anyway, it's Caleb's week to be needy. The other two are having to get by on autopilot, to some degree. They're good, though.

So, back to my theory. I'm not sure what happens next week. Will the rotation start over? Personally, I'm hoping they'll make it a four-week rotation and give me a week off, but I doubt it. I'll keep you posted.

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